Toni Elías is back representing Honda at their home race, following a year on Italian Ducati machinery. The Spaniard has a factory-spec RC212V at his disposal for the Polini Grand Prix of Japan, making him one of the chief focal points for his manufacturer this weekend. Unfortunately for the San Carlo Gresini Honda man, one of his strong points has been tempered during preseason, and he is keen to solve the problem before Sunday’s race.
"Motegi is a circuit with lots of heavy braking and I have always been good on the brakes, which I think is why my record is so good there, but this is an area we’re struggling with at the moment. So it is fundamental we fix that particular problem because braking is a weapon we really need here," emphasises the 2007 podium finisher at the track, who is keen to gain another good result for two distinct reasons.
"I have always loved Motegi and to race there for HRC gives you an extra motivation to do a good job. We have to be realistic and keep our feet on the ground in terms of our expectations because the situation we’re in at the moment demands it, but hopefully we can get a little bit of help and with it being a track I like so much we can improve on the performance from Qatar – this is the principal objective."
Elías finished sixteenth -not high enough to collect World Championship points- in the 2008 Japanese race.